A good text editor is critical for web design – as critical as a good (S)FTP client. After much testing I have found a text editor that dwarfs the rest – TextMate. I’ve been using it constantly for the past two months and find new features everyday. Check out Macromates to see some of the key features available in TextMate. But, more than anything else, what makes TextMate hands down better than any other text editor is its extensibility through bundles and its integration with Shell. Between those two TextMate allows you to work with any coding language anywhere on your machine. TextMate’s big downside though is it’s $52 price tag. I guess great functionality isn’t free.
Now lets talk about Cyberduck – my absolute favorite, absolutely FREE, (S)FTP client. Cyberduck’s feature set is pretty standard, but there are a couple of great pieces of functionality. First, you can edit any file with the push of the edit button. Cyberduck then handles the download, save, and upload automatically without any help from you. This is great for quick css editing on the fly or for minor sytax changes to code. You can also select the text editor you want to use with this function – TextMate! Second the ability to synchronize online folders with local folders is also extemely useful. I generally try to keep a copy of all of my files on my local machine as well as on the server. That way I have a backup and I can work offline. Thus when I go through and make changes to a large quantity of files and images its nice to be able to simply synchronize the folder and know that all of my changes have updated. Oh and did I mention it is free and updated regularly?
I guess I should also mention that these are both Mac only programs. For you PC types there are some near equivalents, but nothing is ever as good as the original.